Nearly one in three residents of NSW were born overseas and around 1 in 5 speaks a language other than English.
Multicultural Health Week is a week that reminds NSW health services and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities of the importance of providing equitable access to information and resources to Australians whose first language may not be English.
It is also a time to remind services that:
- Ethnicity and language can impact on health status and service delivery.
- There are services and resources available for NSW Health staff to help CALD communities increase access to services.
- There is key data on Ethnicity and health status that can be found in Health Statistics NSW: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/publichealth/hsnsw/index.asp.
- In general, overseas-born residents have better health than Australian-born residents.
This reflects the healthy migrant effect where by people in good health are more likely to meet eligibility criteria, and to be willing and economically able to migrate. Migrants from many countries have a lower prevalence than Australian-born of health risk factors such as overweight and obesity and alcohol consumption at risk levels. The relative health advantage that migrants have over Australian-born people tends to decrease with length of residence in Australia.
- Multicultural Health Week is also a time to highlight the achievements of various Local Health Districts, local councils and non government organisations in producing initiatives, resources and campaigns targeting CALD communities.